Tuesday, February 23, 2010



Sooner or later I will have to move up in size...OK...maybe just think about moving up in size. Right now I'm having fun and would rather not think about anything. That's not true, I think about my upcoming trip to Italy...64 days away, but who's counting.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Back Bay...Cape May NJ

In the mid seventies, while still fully engaged in my private medical practice, but dreaming of the life of an artist, I began spending time in the streets of Wilmington Delaware with my sketch book. For inspiration and guidance I turned to the works of Paul Hogarth and Norman MacDonald, both prominent professional illustrators. I purchased everything I could find by Hogarth, including old Magazines and out of date books he illustrated, and a new book by MacDonald, published in 1972, called Artist on the Spot. Over the next 30 years I would periodically pull them off the shelf and look at them for the umpteenth time, never failing to be inspired. In preparation for my trip to Italy I began once again looking through the well worn volumes. Sadly, Paul Hogarth died several years ago, but MacDonald? I didn't know, so like any able bodied 21st century man I googled him, and to my great delight found his website and a means of contacting him, which I did. And was rewarded with a very nice response from the artist. It is experiences like this that sustain my amazement of the small world we now live in.

I have not checked to see if the book is still in print (a Van Nostrand Reinhold Book), but if it is, I would recommend it to anyone who loves to sketch.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


and still going strong.

Mixed media #4...acrylic and acrylic ink...8x4"

I have one more small canvas in progress, after which I will have to decide if I want to move up to a larger format with this process. I have two 24x24 canvases waiting for my attention so I will probably do so.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


"playing" with these small panels trying to develop a different approach to the way in which I apply the paint. I working with very aqueous acrylics and acrylic ink and using the texture of the heavily applied acrylic molding paste under coating to effect the flow and subsequent appearance of the pigment.

untitled...mixed media #2...12x8"

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The "mediocre" painting from last week has been recycled. Using acrylic washes and inks with no fixed agenda I ended up with this painting. It is OK, but more importantly, I came away with some new ideas for future paintings building on what I learned from this one. An important feature, which unfortunately is lost in this photograph, is the effect of the textured gesso and molding paste and it's influence on the colored washes. Hopefully I can demonstrate this better on the second piece I'm working on.

untitled...mixed media...24x24

Friday, February 12, 2010


Unruly Sky...arylic...24x24"

For over a week I looked at the blank, white panel sitting on the easel resisting the urge to paint another "horizon landscape". There were enough paintings for the show and I felt it was time to move on to another focus. Two days ago I thought...oh, what the hell...one more won't hurt.

It is another paper towel sky that may or may not have ever existed at some time, somewhere in this world, and so much fun to create.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I recently posted about the problems that I've experienced when working in a series...inevitably one or more paintings fail to make the grade. Last month I posted this painting, HEAT, as part of my horizon series. I really like this piece.

I thought I would do a follow up of that piece, using the same "window" technique. Here it is, and I am not at all happy with it. The border is too large and uninspired. The central part is OK, but the overall result is a mediocre piece of work, and the last thing I need is another mediocre painting lying around my studio. The next time I post this panel there will be another painting on it.


Thursday, February 4, 2010


Earlier this week I posted about a trip to Italy that I have been thinking about and planning for several months. Well...since then I have "bitten the bullet" and committed myself to an apartment for the month of May and booked a flight from Paducah to Bologna. After serious thought I decided to make it a round trip ticket.

As I mentioned previously, my goal it to seek inspiration and gather new reference material for future paintings and I plan to get out into the countryside with my camera. But what I am most excited about is the opportunity to do a lot of sketching in the city, streetscapes, architecural, and the general busyness of the city shops and storefronts. In the earliest years of my art I did a great deal of on the spot drawing, but once I discovered the comfort of studio art and my goals and interests shifted, I abandoned the spontaneous street drawings. The camera became my best friend and kept me out of inclement weather. I am hoping to get back to my roots and re-discover the joy and excitement of drawing the city...first hand.

The 2 drawings here were done in the mid 70s, when I walked out of an oncology review course in Boston after the first hour and spent the next 3 days walking all over Boston and Cambridge with a small sketch book and a trusted Parker 45 fountain pen (no longer available).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I’ve just completed a series of 10 paintings loosely based on the theme...horizons. My intention was to create different atmospheric moods and tension in landscapes where the primary focus is the horizon. The results were predictable, based on my long experience with painting. On a scale of 10, two of the paintings were 10s, most were 7-8s and one I would give a 5 or 6.

The challenge of course is to eliminate the 5s and 6s and paint more 10’s, but that is easier said than done, and I’m not sure it is even possible to do so, or desirable. I find that once I am engaged in a series of paintings over several weeks the process seems to take on a life of its own, each painting exerting an influence on the next, both consciously and unconsciously. Because I work intuitively, creating landscapes with little or no reference material, some of what results cannot always be repeated in another painting and I have to trust myself that the more I work, the greater the chance that everything will come together for another “10”. In between the 10s are the paintings that we learn from, they are the ones that make the 10s possible. And of course, someone’s 5 is another persons 10, something all of us who sell art are very grateful for.

Here is my ten:

Warm Clouds

Here is the five:


Monday, February 1, 2010


For the past several months I have been working on a plan to spend the month of May in Italy where I hope to gather material and inspiration for a new body of work. My primary tools will be a sketch book, pens and pencils, a compact set of watercolors, and a camera. I am now working hard to master some of the fundamentals of the language (my high school Italian course is long gone.) via an online course. Below is a copy of my e-letter that I have sent to my mailing list.

I will let you know the results of the letter, as well as posting updates on the progress I make.


To friends of Gallery 5,

The "old country” beckons. Growing up in a community settled by Italian immigrants, my grandparents among them, Italy was always called “the old country”. I remember hearing that far more often than “Italy”. In the fall of 2008 I made my first trip to Italy, visiting the small village of my grandparents in the southern region of Puglia. I knew immediately that I would be returning, and after several months of plotting and planning have decided to spend the month of May in the old country. I have selected Bologna as my home base during the visit.

The purpose of this trip is to gather reference material – sketches and photos.- for a series of paintings to be completed in the studio upon my return home. To help finance this trip I am offering the following proposition: an opportunity to reserve a painting at a significantly reduced price (art futures?) or to purchase a current painting from the gallery, also at a reduced price.

12x48 $1200 Reserved price 25% off - $900
24x24 $1200 Reserved price 25% off - $900
24x30 $1500 Reserved price 30% off - $1000
36x36 $2500 Reserved price 40% off - $1500
30x40 $2500 Reserved price 40% off - $1500
48x48 $4500 Reserved price 50% off - $2250
48x60 $5000 Reserved price 50% off - $2500

All paintings will be on canvas or panels and wired for hanging.

In addition, I am offering twelve $150 gift certificates for a price of $100.

Here is how it will work. If three people reserve a 12x48 painting, I will have a minimum of 4 paintings available and selections will be made in the order in which I received the reservation. If someone does not find a painting that they like, I will paint another one, or offer a complete refund of their money. All money collected from this offer will be kept in escrow, and if for any reason I cannot make the trip, the money will be returned.

I plan to have all of the paintings ready for purchase and exhibition within 4-6 months of my return.
If you have any questions or special requests please contact me personally, by phone, or by e-mail.

Bill Renzulli

William Renzulli